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Progress Control

The Progress Control component covers all the activities, techniques, responsibilities and possible tools that are used during a project to monitor and assess objectives and results achieved against those planned. This continuous monitoring and control is performed regularly throughout the entire project life-cycle in order to verify and ascertain the continuous project viability. This component provides guidance to the PM on how to deal with events which may threaten the project’s objectives and provides a procedure in order to deal with deviations from any of the established levels of tolerance in a project, hence being very closely related to the Manage by Exception Principle. Progress Control is measured against the planned objectives and as such must reflect the different monitoring needs related to the different levels of planning. For this reason the monitoring and control procedures and techniques used must cover:

  • Progress Monitoring (Actual vs Planned)
  • Achievements Assessment (Actual vs Planned)
  • Work Package Assessment
  • Stage Plan Assessment
  • Project Plan Assessment
  • Risk and Issue Monitoring
  • Problem Solving activities
  • Go/no-go Decision assessments

These controls must be performed at all levels of planning to make sure the interests of all levels of management are covered. The PM will monitor stage and work package status, the Project Board will monitor Stage and Project Status and the Corporate or Policy making environment will monitor the Project Board.

All levels of management within a project can delegate a certain amount of authority (the level of authority varies according to different factors) to the level of management directly below. In order to do this limits are set around what possible deviations are permissible above or below a specific objective, be it Time, Cost, Quality, Scope, Risk, Benefits and Sustainability. These limits will constitute the tolerances used at the various levels of management.

This is summarised in the chart below:

Strategy and Policy making level

Project Tolerances

Project Plan Exceptions

Project Board

Stage Tolerances

Stage Plan

PM

Work Package Tolerances

Work Package Issues

Team Manager

This table shows how the project tolerances are agreed at Strategy level possibly during the Feasibility Study and assigned to the Project Board as a means of overall control over the Project. The Project Board is then limited in the scope of its authority by these project level tolerances and will need to report to the policy-making level any deviation beyond permissible levels. Much the same way the Project Board will agree and assign stage level tolerances to the PM when authorising a stage and the PM will have to escalate any deviation beyond tolerance levels following the Exception procedure. Finally the PM will agree and assign the Work Package tolerances to the Team Managers who in turn will need to raise an issue to the PM’s attention should he/she forecast a deviation beyond the agreed tolerances. Should an exception situation incurs (deviations beyond the agreed levels of tolerance) the Exception Procedure must be.